At just thirty-seven, almost everything went terribly wrong for Scott Hawkins.
The husband and father had a serious stroke at home looking after the children as Danielle went to her class nearby.
Danielle will always remember the call she received that April.
”He called me and he was slurring his words,” his wife said.
”He said he had an intense headache and that something was wrong.”
The couple called 911, and shortly thereafter paramedics came to take Scott to the emergency room.
Danielle recalls: “When emergency medical crews loaded Scott into the ambulance, his blood pressure spiked, causing fluid in the lungs”.
”It was just very, very bad,” she said, filled with emotion, “Sometimes it’s hard to talk about it.”
Paramedics needed to intubate Scott while en route to the Michigan hospital.
On reaching the emergency room, Scott's doctors told Daniel to ring their other relatives and tell them Scott wasn't likely to survive till the next day.
Danielle recalls: “His oxygen levels were in the 60s and 70s. They told me they should be above 90.”
Scott was fighting for his life after an aneurysm had burst. This aneurysm, in a critical place close to Scott’s brain, had triggered the stroke.
As doctors tried to control the cerebral bleeding, Danielle’s husband went into cardiac arrest, Health Beat reports.
“They lost him for a few minutes,” shared Danielle. “He had loss of oxygen because of that, too.”
For a whole seven days after his operation, her husband couldn’t react or take directions.
During this time, doctors informed Danielle that Scott was unlikely to come to. They said he'd probably not wake or return to his regular functioning. That he'd never be capable of kissing Danielle or expressing his love.
“They told me to let him go,” revealed Danielle.
But the loyal wife wouldn’t accept the doctors’ predictions.
She knew how strong Scott was, something his doctors couldn’t possibly fathom.
Rather than unplugging Scott and saying a final goodbye, she bent over and kissed Scott.
On touching his dying lips, Danielle felt her husband kiss back.
Perhaps it was wishful thinking, she owns. Yet the one small sign gave Danielle hope, and enough of it to refuse to unplug her husband. Her decision would transform both of their futures forever.
With fresh hope, she battled so that Scott could stay on support. She was set on showing everybody that Scott was going to get well.
Danielle’s unwavering faith was not unrewarded. 5 weeks of therapy later, Scott didn’t need to be on his ventilator. His functions were slowly, but surely, coming back.
“That’s where I started proving to everyone (that he could recover),” his wife said.
“He’s a musician, so I would bring in thumb guitars. He would flick the notes. Doctors said it was just a reflex. I told him to change the notes and he did.”
Daniel figured that her husband was only unable to talk to her because he had undergone a tracheotomy. This was a cut in his neck so that he could breathe unobstructed.
Whether it was luck or something else, Danielle decided to cover Scott’s tracheotomy incision.
As she thought he might, Scott began to speak.
Danielle explained: “I covered his trach and he started talking to me.”
“The first words were, ‘I love you,’ the second, ‘get me pain medication.’ Then, when the doctors asked him, ‘what are you playing?’ he said, ‘an instrument.’ The doctors started to believe in us.”
With clear evidence that Scott wanted to live, his doctors at long last began to have faith in him.
Shortly after, Scott was moved over to a Nursing and Rehab Center. There, he attended rehab for 6 out of every 7 days, for close to four months.
Scott’s treatment involved music rehab, frequently alongside speech therapy, physio, and occupational therapy. The hope was that Scott could recover his coordination and build up his strength.
After those four long months, it was time for him to return home, walking all by himself.
A grateful Danielle recalled: “He went in on a stretcher only moving his right hand, and he left walking with a walker with one hand in the air saying, ‘Rock on.’”
She is so thankful to the rehab staff and therapists for her husband’s recovery.
“They started talking to Scott like he was there,” she shared, reflecting on how they kept her hopes up.
All the while, she had been at Scott’s side, supporting him, encouraging him, and always believing in his recovery.
She had always been sure Scott would get better. Despite the doctors advising her to ring their relatives on the first fateful night, she never thought he’d die. She knew his recovery would take a while, yet Scott is getting better, bit by bit.
“He’s playing guitar again. He plays the drums. It used to be he couldn’t swallow. He had a feeding tube for nine months, but now he can eat anything he wants,” spoke Danielle.
The greatest recoveries, we reckon, occur when we have unwavering belief. When we support and care for others with that positive mindset. The best thing Danielle could have done is to believe in Scott. And the same goes for his rehab and therapy staff.